August 20, 2019
Audrey Meadows and the Intolerable Jerry Lewis
Password, for the uninitiated, is a fairly straightforward game show hosted by the affable Allen Ludden, where ordinary folk contestants are paired with celebrities in a battle to see who can guess the secret word based on single word clues the fastest.
I believe this particular episode originally aired on 11/8/1966, and features Audrey Meadows being a delightful sprite and Jerry Lewis barely containing his contempt for the human race, as well as promoting his then-upcoming movie. It is truly remarkable that he had such a storied career given how he treats everyone that surrounds him. That said, the rest of those that appear on screen are lovely people.
Audrey Meadows, for example is introduced as a “witty television star,” and introduces her contestant partner in a genteel manner. Lewis, introducing his partner, seems pretty exhausted by the whole affair. He lands a few good jokes through out the episode, but mostly seems genuinely angry with his partner for not getting his clues.
At one point he barks at his partner, attempting to hint at the password “Growl,” although he gets aggressive about it and when he realizes he scares his partner, he laughs in a manner that can only be described as having Tucker Carlson energy. Maybe this review is too laden on negative attributes of Jerry Lewis' performance, but to be fair, the episode is firmly centered on him. The introduction for Audrey Meadows as nice enough, but Jerry Lewis is introduced as one of the all-time greats of the comedy field, and his performance does not really live up to that mantle.
To conclude, this is a fun television show, if slightly reduced by the resigned efforts of Jerry Lewis, which features several ordinary people winning some money.